Shots in the Powell House

Jacob got his two-month vaccinations today. (Before I go further, let me say that I understand how controversial childhood vaccines are among some folks. Mike & I have made our decision about what we will and won’t be doing, and we’re happy with it. If you’ve chosen not to vaccinate your kids I respect your decision: I think there’s good thinking behind each view, and you do what you believe is best for your kids. I’m cool with that.)

Our big boy was as cute as could be at the doctor’s office. He’s 23.75 inches now and 12 lb 2 oz. He’s 150% of his birth weight and 2.75 inches taller. Amazing. Once it was time for shots, however, he was not so happy. It was sad to watch our little man cry like that. After it was done and I fed him I was talking to him and Mike said “You’d better not be too sorry for him or he’ll grow up scared of shots.”

So I’ve got a plan for how we’re going to handle shots day in the Powell house. First off, I will never say anything to make them think shots are a big deal–in a bad way. Instead, when it’s shot day we’re going to take the afternoon off to watch movies and maybe even do something crazy like having ice cream for dinner.

Why? Well, partly because I want our kids not to be scared of needles. But there’s something more important here. I was talking with another mom the other day about what to do with our kids to help them avoid sin. Discipline is not pleasant, so rather than having to inflict consequences for sin, it is good to love our little kids, when possible, by helping them to avoid temptation. Basically the idea is: when they are weak, lead them away from temptation. If they feel yukky, they’ll whine. So make them as comfortable as possible and instead of whining, they’ll make some happy childhood memories.

This is the kind of mom I want to be. I don’t want to be a softy and I won’t make excuses for my kids’ sin. But whenever possible I want to give my little ones the chance for joy and pleasure and lead them away from opportunities for temptation. There will be plenty of those without looking for them.

Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea. —Mark 9:42

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6 thoughts on “Shots in the Powell House

  1. I really think that as long as you don’t make a big deal out of it one way or the other, he will be fine. Shots really only hurt for a second. Our parents used to stress that you’ll probably do 10 things in a day that hurt worse, and none of us are afraid of shots.

    1. Yeah, you’re right Gwen. It’s not so much the needles that I’m thinking of as the residual feeling Bleh that happens sometimes. The best thing to do with the fear of needles thing is what your folks did. Of course, I grew up not having a lot of shots and I still don’t get what the big deal with needles is. It is really just not that big of a deal.

      1. I was never astute enough as a kid to realize that I felt any different after a shot at all. Some shots will do that (like flu shots and oh man the shots we got for TZ) but I really can’t remember any childhood vaccines making me feel anything unpleasant outside a slightly achy arm. If I were to ever have kids I would be the worst parent ever because I lack sympathy for a lot of those types of things. My life philosophy is that shit happens and it’s better to learn to deal with the small discomforts as they come so you know how to deal with the big ones later. Sometimes you go to work or class sick and sometimes you are miserable and PMSy or feel down because of a tragedy in the world or a personal loss, but you pretty much have to keep going. In my view, there needs to be understanding but also an acknowledgment of the way life is and will be. I think I kind of grew up in that mentality, and I’m only halfway warped, so I guess it didn’t work out too badly.

  2. As my 5 children got their shots I didn’t “make a big deal”, but stayed calm myself and had them either look me in the eye or simply turn their heads. None of them ever “liked” the shots, but neither were their tears or fear. A couple of the more strongly self-disciplined among the kids took the whole process better than the others. Then, two years ago, when Isaac needed to have blood drawn to confirm a diagnosis of Lyme disease, (it was) he watched intently as the phlebotomist performed her duty smoothly and quickly. As we left the hospital his eyes were as big as quarters and he kept saying, “she just stuck it in there! No panic, no fear, just matter-of-fact. (I found it amusing)

    Your further thought to the process, connecting it to other temptations they will face, is so wise Susan. How blessed your son is (and future children are) to have a mother who thinks further beyond the immediate issue to the greater spiritual lessons. I’m honored to know you.

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